B. Get reinforcements
C. Blame external conditions
D. Blame the gods
E. All of the above
These are the choices of a birder having a bad day. How many times have you just decided to call it a day, asked another birder if they’ve had better luck finding the target, or blamed conditions?
Afterwards, you…. (select all that apply.)
A. Check ebird for more specifics on location
B. Verify field markings in a field guide/allaboutbirds
C. Call reinforcements
D. Go back again
The number of answer choices selected in question 2 indicates your level Birder Style. (By the way, if you selected all of the above, you are an Obsessed Birder).
All of this leads me to my pursuit of George this past September. (Can you tell what type of birder I am yet?)
So George is not a person, not even a birder. The truth is George was a RBA celebrity. George appeared in late July at the Meadowlands. He was an overnight wonder. The glossiest white feathers, a much bulkier frame; he put the egrets to shame. And to every birder’s delight he stayed. and stayed. and stayed.
He wasn’t seen every day, but it was it was close. Birders grew to know him on a very personal level. They knew his favorite dinning locations at low tide; where he’d go when he needed a change of pace. He was the celebrity that lived in your neighborhood, much like Mr. Rogers.
He was there throughout the summer, but I couldn’t get away to see him for myself. 15 minutes from my own apartment and I was house-sitting in another state!
Finally September rolled around and I was free to pursue George. First we forgot to do our research before going. That was that was Thursday. So I returned at the next possible opportunity: Saturday. Here’s what I saw:
Nope, no George slumbering here.
No George here either.
So a white bird at a far distance. Had its back toward me the entire time. Visible from the New Jersey Turnpike, I’m sure, but not from my spot.
Conditions were not favorable. So home again I went. The new week began and reports of George’s habits continued. So the next Thursday rolled around. By this time, I was pretty sure I had the precise location of George’s favorite fishing hole. Now for confirmation.
Negative on George.
Finding George is like finding Waldo, or not.
Wrong color for George.